Sitting three points ahead of the two-time defending East Bay Athletic League champion, the Monte Vista High boys soccer team had a chance to put some distance between itself and De La Salle on Thursday night.
Thanks to a Charles Zaloumis goal early in the first half, the Mustangs extended their winning streak to 11 matches and remain alone atop the league standings after a 1-0 victory.
"I was the right man in the right spot," Zaloumis said. "But it was a team effort. The entire team played great, and that's why we got the win."
Monte Vista (11-0-1, 4-0 EBAL) took control of this game early, dominating the possession as it had the run of play for the first 25 minutes.
The Mustangs nearly went up 1-0 within the first minute after Jeff Greenberg hit a left-footed strike that seemed destined for the back of the net, but it ricocheted off the crossbar.
The home side was not discouraged and eventually broke through as Zaloumis weaved through the defense, maintained control and put away a goal in the 16th minute.
The Spartans (3-4-3, 2-2) had chances inside the Monte Vista box but could not get the equalizer.
De La Salle had three great chances in the final 20 minutes. A flick from Grady Nelson was tipped away by Nick Pelligrini with 16 minutes left. Joey Jones nearly scored twice in the final 15 minutes, but Monte Vista avoided the danger as Pelligrini scooped up one, and Mitchell Peterson cleared the other off the line just before it was about to go in.
"With any luck, we would have got a goal," De La Salle coach Derricke Brown said. "A draw would have been fair, and I'm a little disappointed with the result. But they're a good team, and we made mistakes that led to the goal.
"Despite the loss, it was a step in the right direction with what we're trying to accomplish."
Livermore 3, California 0: The Cowboys (7-5-3, 1-2-1 EBAL) received two goals and an assist from Jake Foscalina, as well as a goal from Drake Foote to open the scoring in the 14th minute, in their victory over the Grizzlies (7-3-2, 2-2).